tv [untitled] CSPAN June 27, 2009 4:30pm-5:00pm EDT
seven years and it is true they may have slipped a bit but it still better than what you will find a been minnesota the seveners have a way. i spent eight spent a few weeks teaching in wisconsin and i had a marvelous time i love the people there a great deal. but a storyteller, my example i can cite is if you and i, my wife was in a restaurant, a fast-food place in wisconsin. and there is a couple sitting at the table and another couple came in and here is the conversation. >> i see you can mounted dinners and i guess we that we would the mounted dinners and i guess it is good to come down to dinner last night was not a good night to come out
to dinner. >> snow was on the ground. >> new-line would not want to come out to dinner either. >> if we were in mississippi it would then you came down to dinner tonight? i had to because she started getting on be about the cap negative and i could not get off of it and by the way did you hear what herald said over there? the story is going and it is the way we learn to talk and present things. so i am talking about the plane's style. when i was teaching the students would think we have to get rid of this guy. he just can't keep up which is probably true. what i am saying is that in america especially we need to have room for hemingway roi team in the old trap plain style but also make room for william faulkner who will do anything but that. but it is hard today to find
anybody who will follow in faulkner's footsteps for better and worse i suppose but i do not like us to be limited as writer so when some of my sentences get a better nablus, it is the kind of thing that it is different and maybe it will not hurt me if i'd be back but there are reviewers that say oh my god. there he goes again. somebody quoted two sentences which i that were pretty good sentences but it is an example of what the make of this and what we do with day author writes a sentence like that? with perry earth they came to the forefront if you are one of the 18 people in america that read it. how do i say this? i can look at my notes. i should have put on the dust jacket -- jacket a little phrase you have seen it on the
instruction manuals with some assembly required. should happen there because to make perry earthwork but we have to produce a pay and do some assembling as a reader yourself. but i will not put perry earth into this category but i do think any good book demands a good reader and a good reader is one that is willing to participate and take an active role in the tax. for example, and "roads to quoz" i hope you will participate in the word quoz and what it means and in hopes that you will do that you will find if you get a copy of that you will find the back of the book this is one of the pages missing that they sent out to the reviewers, there are two pages of words that i concocted beginning with the quoz it was a lot of fun to do i was just a very good with
alphabetizing. but the idea, the new quozism the first edition. that is the idea that you will have some of these yourself i can see you writing me letters using your own invented words. it will make more sense i start talking about quoz in a moment. >> this is about the letter to. -- let third q. when traveling i may have a slight destination and in this new book that took place over four years, 16,000 miles and each one had a a destination in mind in the trip to the
southwest they ended up in new mexico there is a woman for writing letters for almost 70 years at the time and she is the right to me but to their letters and wanted to meet a person that was the destination of between missouri and new mexico most of the events that occur in that section happened. that is where the serendipity comes in. but how do i put these together? it finally dawned on me because my wife's name is joe weigh in and she has never been happy with that name given that she is largely a tomboy, joe would be a better name for her but she does not go for that. she told me when i first met her she always wanted a name
it is a son of a state named an old mexico. self she became quintana but then short end at q. when a husband decides he will rightabout day spouse and if they are an attorney and if that spouse is trained to understand libel and invasion of privacy that writer had better know what he is doing i'm a fellow who writes not knowing what i am doing that is the purpose of writing to figure out what the hell i'm doing price i will make assertions how many of these may be libelous or and patients of privacy? but if she goes by another name that could change things. so for a while i struggled how to presenter i said she will
be q then i felt free to write things. i did run everything by her son she put her stamp on everything but it is accurate but when you are writing you don't know that. she was it q. well of a struggling with is the organizing principle behind the but? i do not know what got into my head that one day i went to my dictionary stand i have the greatest work on an american and lexicography the second international dictionary foot the later editions are not as good it is this big usually on a pedestal and those of you who are more than 16 will remember the old the dictionary i got one at a garage sale for $15 it is my favorite book with i could put any language in my head bad is it. not the encyclopedia but the dictionary. i open debt and said i will do something i will read every
entry on the letter q. not a hard thing to do thank god i did not pick letter s. it was delightful it was a couple of hours, not too bad but the last word was quoz i read the definition and founded is a term that was popular in london in the late 18th century and i read it and it has several meanings but the one that caught my eye was something mysterious and strange and i thought that is what i am trying to look for when i am on the road i am looking 4014 there i am writing my fifth book and i do not have this word i should have known this word 25 years ago, quoz. quoz. then i got to think about q. the other thing i think about is a totem that wal-mart out
of the book. so with "blue highways" there is the boston hardcover edition printed and perry earth and looks like a tic-tac-toe designed for river horse it was a coiled snake which is the american indian symbol for water in river and i wanted 14 this as well. what is it? who sometimes they took a nap time working acted my nap and i was under a little quilts that my great-grandmother sought we can speak at gettysburg and she made quilts for all of her grandchildren in their high school colors. the one she made for my father was supposed to be gold but it came out orange know you're speaking 1910, and they were all in the same pattern and i
discovered doing research that that pattern was called one during floods. ben q came up with their research there is a superstition in the early 20th century if not before that to put a child, a sleeping child under a quilt with the wondering foot powder newble cause that child to wander west and never be heard from again. [laughter] now some of you who were parents thinking what were they doing to this boy? what is the message? it worked. they did go laundering west and every other direction. the woman who made the quilt the great-grandmother raised turkeys. [inaudible]
in 1940 i got off of my hands and knees and made the staggering steps that we'll do and if you have a copy of "roads to quoz" u.s. see a photograph that my father snapped. we have quilt pattern, at quoz, and then then what one is called wandering across the vermont he talked of a spanish pattern it issues in texas to describe a place where a longhorn is born. and has a special affinity for where it is born. then i learn apparently it is used in bullfighting and mexico and spain. then i was not quite right and it is a place and that global
imagines in the ring that it is of spot and wants to keep the matador out of the cbot and the matador once to keep it from getting to the spot so they began fighting. i am not fighting i'm talking about the definition and it comes from a spanish bourbon which means to love so as i use it here it is a place that we have a special affinity for, a place that we love. what i see more and more in this country perhaps across the world that i have some concern that has become ever more electronic five that we're losing some of our special place is. i am really concerned about them because i don't think you can have a virtual special place. e the you have the real thing or you do not have it. what i tried to do a last 30
or 40 years of my travels is to ever expand my special place so either i can go to places an alabama where there are spots where i feel i have they belonging and i think this is my tenth trip to seattle so there are places in this city i feel they belonging and i mentioned when i began one is across the street at the pacific hotel i belong to just a little piece of that particular corner. i think if we can get the young feeling they are connected to a place that you begin behaving differently and if there is one word that lies at the base of all of my ethical thought come and its connections and i guess if you look everything i have written about is connections, trying to connect. of people are connecting they are much less likely to commit atrocities. i think of adolf hitler but
and frank the 12 year-old girl who wrote her marvelous diary while she was sequestered in the attic in amsterdam and later the nazi is found her and to record to the concentration camp and did her in but if adolf hitler had a photograph of her on the wall and signed this is the enemy he may have had more trouble doing what he did. he might have rethought that and i have to confess i have wondered many times since 2001 in the current administration, i forget his name. [laughter] if he had sat down with sadam and talked, connected or tried to connect with things have been every eight -- any different? i don't know how it would do any harm or would be any
worse. during the last election, i was shocked and disappointed as they usually end with elections not buy the results so much but by the way they are conducted. i am sure you have had that feeling but i saw one of the parties not to be mentioned, they attempted to use the word precondition as a negative. so if one candidate said he would talk with somebody else without preconditions that is bad. do not vote for him because he talks about preconditions. and are we talking diplomacy? are you married cracks terribly friend? too ever have a discussion with your partner? i will talk about this but here are the preconditions. there goes the talk right there. you cannot have a talk without preconditions maybe civility and listening. fortunately american people decided preconditions could be
very destructive so i a look forward to talk without preconditions. the third at it q i do not want to say too much about it because i want you to discover it and invented for yourself. it is not a term that i made up but it is in a good dictionary. the phrase i should output in the book i did not think about it until about four weeks ago when it was too late, if you get a copy, write in your book this phrase because it will help make sense, quoz as i see it is primarily marked by being a silent and persistent energy. and when i saw that phrase come i got it from christopher
morley from the haunted bookshop he was talking about books as a silent persistent energy i said is and that the best definition of a book i ever saw? you have books at home you need to redo have not ready yet but you know, the book is sitting there and the potential energy now does not work until you open it up as the a good reader doing some assembly he began to tap into the energy that is in the but said is what quoz is part of that is like stardust, anywhere anything can be quoz, a person coming event, nothing that it cannot be but york quoz will not be mine, and maybe but probably not that it is quoz that makes us to my mind makes us significant members of the universe, quoz that connects us a once again we're talking about connections.
time for something completely different. i mentioned i get letters and over the 30 years, not quite coming generations, that i have been a published writer i have gotten many mentee letters. i have noticed they express a nice affection and i am grateful for them. i cannot tell you how many times i have been struggling along to get out a page and i think i cannot do this book. maybe i never did have it, what am i doing? what kind of presumptuous person am i to think i can write something down in my study in missouri and somebody in seattle or florida will want to read that? that i get a better and then i say here is one per cent per you keep going after these little straws come anything to keep you going especially to
get the first draft done. the redo the whole letter but the first sentence if you're a writer or becoming a writer, this may help a little bit. >> you're new book is one of the dullest things i have ever read. [laughter] trust me, i read every word of it. i even read portions of it to my wife so she could see howled dole it was. [laughter] i think the word we're looking for is anal compulsive although i do know once they start a book i do not like to quit in the middle. anybody in that category? you keep going and you say damage but you keep going as i get older i read i can read faster and faster with a book that is not working but before i commit to a book i will start reading if i am just
browsing if i quit or five back away i am not a quitter. [laughter] that helps a little bit. i am eager for your next book so please hurry up with it right of your last book at a garage sale for $1 and. [laughter] -- $0.10 and you know, how long it takes for things to get to a garage sale. one more. i find your book about traveling around america as when the finest and most will britain of books i have ever read. but what have you written since travels with charley? [laughter] let me tell you about a couple of people, it was blue earth, blue quoz ben perry highway, river highways, per
recourse know it will be blue quoz and i don't know what else. sometimes i try to think of something and it comes out that like that there is a man i met near columbus, ohio named frank. he matched an early kind of person i was hoping to meet on the back roads. two use the old indian american way of speaking ople t t of the seventh generation beyond it seems so american we are not doing too good of a job of at adulate. can see it in washington, individuals, you can see it on wall street, god bless you mr. rosewater he is a character that says a philosophy is grab much too much or you would get nothing at all.
and i think sometimes we in this country might do well to remember that. i was looking for people were thinking beyond themselves and want to leave something behind, people who were concerned about their legacy. i want to leave something behind i don't want them to say he just use up energy and lift it -- left a big carbon footprint i have a feeling all of you would like to do that to. we can do with family, children, grandchildren but they eventually die what can we leave behind that goes beyond family? how many times per day do think of your great great-grandparents'? how many of you know, the names? we need to think beyond that generation. was looking for people who were doing that and also thinking as we retire earlier are at least three used to be for george bush got a hold of
the economy, there were a lot of people, baby-boomers here now have much more time on their hands but did not always know what to do with all of that time, how to give themselves a purpose for getting up. so looking for people who would solve the problem it, so franken ohio spent the last 30 years, he is not an retiree at the time he spent the last 30 years attempting to photograph virtually every mile of the old national road, highway u.s. 40 which begins on the atlantic coast in maryland and ends up, use to in san francisco so it is a coast to coast road, a classic. he started with the old stone milepost you will see it and "roads to quoz" one of the first ones is a stone marker. the photograph that then got interested in finding the
others. there were 600 miles of milestones near atlantic city and the middle of illinois. then that sent him on the end of upping colorado then he kept going until he reached california. he thought it would take two years but that was 30 years ago. he is not finished the start with ordinary film now using digital cameras he was inspired by a book of george stewart who taught at university of california who did a book, it is called u.s. 40 published i think and 57. he photographed about 100 sites along highway 40 coast-to-coast and made two trips to do that and francs of the book and wanted to do it photographic project so he took it up. what he has left now instead of just an ordinary black-and-white photograph the is using a digital camera and
taking 360-degree views. he started reproducing his photographs then began extending. so now with computers he can give you sort of a time machine you can watch as computer and you will start off with a photograph taken by george stewart sometime after world war ii then you can see things morph into the views that frank has taken it is like a time machine to watch the computer work. he is the man that is trying to leave something behind. he has a daughter but he wants more than that. there is another man, bill young, we were on our way to the north woods and i had seen pictures of a bridge extreme corner northeast pennsylvania almost on the new york
kline, a store and it -- stone arch bridge that is a viaduct all stone put up in 1848 and made to carry 50-ton locomotives and now it can begin carry to ton locomotives and an amazing piece of engineering and i wanted to see that. and the media wanted to find the authority that could tell me about the bridge 7010 and i went looking asking questions and we found out of the authority was a man named bill young who lived not far from the bridge itself. i called him as i like to talk to him and buy a copy of his book he said there out of print i said would you mind if we cave buy i will pay if the price if you let me take it back into town i will copy it and bring it back and he said come now. he did find a copy.
he is in the authority on the planet for that viaduct for governor buddy thinks that is not a very big legacy i think it is very important. one thing what is your life fourth? something that two centuries from now they will be reading? the answer to me seems yes. a friend of mine who appears to be in the book of florida and make in georgette, though davis retired from an insurance company and wanted to do so he tried sailing and bought a 34-foot to vote then he began to get tired after about four years and he said i always love the commercial fishermen taverns and eateries which are often connected with marine hardware stores.
it is the life of a local fisherman sui began searching for them and i went down to the joint i was falling along in his tracks i was watching another writer's search and search and unfortunately he waited a bit too late in his having trouble finding the nut but i stumbled on to another topic if you read "roads to quoz" you will see to it is not relevant right now. there is a dentist and court alain idaho richard smart to has invented an ordinary mountain bike that he mounts the outrigger you put on top of a steel rail the other real and you get on the bike you ride down the abandoned
railroad lines are usually left up i heard about him and wrote a letter, what? >> [inaudible] questions? okay. i heard about this and i wrote a letter and said i want to try your real cycle and said , now so q and i did and you will see what it is like to get on top of a bicycle on top of rails and idaho and try to ride that on that steel real so i will say the last thing sowed you have questions otherwise i can't keep going on. [laughter] let me finish. in the '70s are late sixties it was said to keep in mind we talking about a